HTPCs aren't anything new. They've been around forever, it seems, and largely unchanged. But Acer's new living room PC is quite different, or, at least it's different than the norm. It's shaped differently, and ships with a very atypical control mechanism. It's the Revo RL100 media center, available with or without Blu-ray and designed to be the heart of your digital living room. The system was initially announced months back, but now it's available for Americans who need a machine to pipe Hulu and other web-based programs directly to their TV.
It ships with Acer
's clear.fi wireless networking, as well as a dual-mode wireless touchpad + keyboard that supposedly enables precise movements from a couch-based position. Most HTPCs rely on trackballs or some sort of integrated keyboard, but this truly does appear to be a novel solution. Outfitted with Acer clear.fi, the Acer RL100 automatically interconnects all Acer home-based and mobile devices, including smartphones, making it easy to consolidate and share HD multimedia throughout the household. This means users can access HD movies and personal content from any Acer device in the house for enjoying on a big screen TV.
The Revo RL100 measures just 1.0 inches (H) x 11.81 inches (W) x 7.09 inches (L), supports 1080p playback and is equipped with a rather unique set of components. There's a 1.3GHz AMD Athlon II K325 CPU, a 750GB SATA HDD, 4GB of memory, NVIDIA's Ion graphics and a backlit control board. It ships with Windows 7, and while DLNA streaming is supported, there's no HD TV tuner included. It also features three USB 2.0 ports, an integrated multi-in-one card reader, an optical S/PDIF port for connecting to an external home theater audio system and both wired and wireless connections to the internet via integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless and an Ethernet port. All told, the system will run $499.99 without Blu-ray, or $569.99 with.